FORT DODGE - The first of November is a special day for many athletes around the World because it is NJCAA Signing Day and for the Iowa Central Community College men's golf team it was an exceptional day as it welcomed Tomas Ribeiro and Austin Erickson to its 2020 recruiting class.
"National signing day is always a fun day," said Coach Kris Graewin. "I've always enjoyed getting to know each recruit's family and try to show each of them how they can be successful here at Iowa Central. We were able to sign two top-notch players so far and I think they are going to bring some great experience and play to our lineup next year. We've got a few others that are going to sign but we'll always have opportunities for golfers to come in and compete for spots here at Iowa Central. Competition breeds success and the more competition we have the better off we are going to be as a program. I couldn't be more thrilled with the way our class is/has shaped up. Adding these athletes to the freshmen we have returning next year will give us a chance to be very competitive next year."
Ribeiro is a Brazilian native who resides in Porto Seguro. In the final Brazil Golf Federation rankings, Ribeiro earned a fourth overall ranking in the country. During the past year he has posted multiple top-3 finishes including a third place finish at the Brazilian Junior Championship with scores of 73-68-77 at the par-72, 6,686-yard Clube Curitibano golf course.
"I chose Iowa Central because I think it's going to be a really good place to grow up as a student and as a golfer," said Ribeiro. "Coach Graewin is a really good person that wants to help his players where they want to be and he's really committed to it and he was a big reason why I committed to Iowa Central."
Joining Ribeiro in the Tritons' recruiting class is Sparta, Wisconsin's Austin Erickson. Erickson is currently rated as the eighth prospect in Wisconsin by Wisconsin.golf website polls.
Erickson has seen his stock rise as a prospect over the past few years after being crowned the Mississippi Valley Conference player of the year in multiple seasons and earning an individual trips to the Wisconsin State Golf Tournament.
This past summer Erickson posted five top-5 finishes including a victory at Reedsburg Country Club in Wisconsin with a blistering round of 70 that included seven birdies. At the Wisconsin PGA Junior Championship he shot 73-73 to finish tied for fourth.
Erickson signed his letter of intent Wednesday afternoon in front of family and friends.
"There were quite a few schools I was considering and planning to visit," Erickson wrote in an email interview with Wisconsin.golf. "Going into the Iowa Central visit, I had only gone on two visits, but had many scheduled after that. Iowa Central was already at the top of my list going into the visit due to the people there. In the end, Iowa Central was the right choice for me but most importantly, it felt like home and I could picture a future there."
"On my visit at Iowa Central, I was most impressed with Coach Graewin; he was on top of things and I loved the mindset he has for the program," said Erickson. "Coach Graewin made me know this was the place for me when we had our sit-down talk and he gave his take on how things should and need to be done here on out. He's ready to work hard for us and really wants to win."
The Tritons are expecting to add at least one more signee to its 2020 recruiting class but Graewin thinks there could be a few others that join the team before August.